Civil Protection Orders
A civil protection order is one way that a Washington state resident might get protection from another person. There are different types of protection orders. My practice focuses on two types: Anti-Stalking Protection Orders and Anti-Harassment Protection Orders.
Under Washington law (RCW 10.14.170), a person who ignores or disobeys these types of protection orders is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. These types of cases require immediate attention and a thorough defense. Contact us.
Anti-Stalking Protection Order
“Stalking” includes a wide range of behavior. Generally, though, it can mean any time a person monitors or follows another person.
Some stalkers resort to open threats, while others communicate so often that the victim becomes fearful and anxious. Causing someone to fear injury to their person or property is against the law.
Typically, the stalking victim asks for this protection, but an adult may also request protection on behalf of a minor child or a vulnerable adult.
The threshold for a court to find that stalking exists is very low. Therefore, a petition for an anti-stalking protection order requires a vigorous defense. Contact us.
Anti-Harassment Protection Order
An adult suffering from unlawful harassment from another adult may file a petition for this order. Additionally, parents of a child who is being harassed by an adult, or by a minor who may have committed a crime against the child, may file on the child’s behalf.
“Unlawful Harassment” includes knowing and willful actions that have no legitimate or legal purpose. Such actions may seriously alarm, harass, annoy, or otherwise cause emotional distress.
A petition for an anti-harassment protection order requires a thorough defense. Contact us.
Some Things to Keep In Mind
- Protection order cases move quickly. If you have been served with a petition, contact us immediately.
- Sometimes petitions for civil protection orders are filed for reasons not amounting to harassment or stalking. They may be thrown around in custody cases, in marriages headed towards divorce, or in groups where one party seeks to silence another. It takes a skilled attorney to take the time to do a thorough investigation and figure out if there are ulterior motives so that they can be presented to the court.
- A civil protection order, although not criminal, may have lasting consequences. Each allegation of stalking or harassment must be evaluated individually and carefully because the potential consequences are something to consider when structuring a defense strategy.
- If a protection order is issued against you, then any alleged violations of the order, regardless of how small, may lead to criminal charges. So even if someone doesn’t care about having an order issued against them because they don’t intend on having any contact with the Petitioner ever again, there are other potentially significant consequences if they are found in violation.
Each case is unique and must be carefully reviewed. We are dedicated to thoroughly investigating your case and preparing the best defense possible.
From the wide range of criminal offenses, we focus on the following:
In Washington State, a driver can be charged for driving under the influence of alcohol if their driving appears to be affected, if he or she drove with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, or if the driver is affected by intoxicating liquor or drugs.
A driving under the influence (DUI) allegation has far-reaching consequences. Once the wheels are in motion, the Department of Licensing (DOL) may suspend the driver’s license for a period of time, and the driver may be required to only drive vehicles with an ignition interlock device. The DOL has also shortened the period of time a driver has to request a hearing to appeal this license suspension.
Do not wait to consult an attorney, even if your charge has not been filed. A skilled attorney can not only guide you through this process but strategize on the best way to get from Arraignment, Pretrial Hearings, to Motions Hearings and Trial. We find that clients are in the best position when they contact us immediately after the arrest. Contact us so that we can develop a tailored plan to start setting up your defense.
Ignition Interlock Violations
DUI convictions often come with ignition interlock device requirements. Violations of this court order can result in significant jail time. These types of cases require examination of procedural and technical issues. We can help. Contact us immediately if you have been charged with an ignition interlock violation.
Assault 4 is a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5000 fine. Assault is an intentional touching of another person that is harmful or offensive to that person, regardless of whether any physical injury is done to that person. If the act is done with the intent to create fear of bodily injury, then the actor can be charged and convicted of assault.
Assault 4 DV (domestic violence) is an assault against a family member or significant other. Under Washington state law, if law enforcement is dispatched, and there is an assault allegation, they are required to arrest the “primary aggressor”.
An assault allegation can have devastating consequences. A court will likely impose a no-contact order against the alleged perpetrator. Additionally, the court could require costly treatment.
Assault allegations can also be improperly employed in family law cases where custody is in dispute. It is essential to hire a knowledgeable attorney that can thoroughly investigate this type of charge and uncover any ulterior motives.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can put together a strategy to minimize the impacts of an assault charge.
Violation of No Contact Order
No contact orders are typically granted as part of a pending criminal charge or a civil protection order, and they prohibit contact with the protected party. If there is an alleged violation of a no-contact order while a related case is pending, it can make the originating case much harder to defend. If an officer has probable cause to believe the respondent or defendant has violated a no-contact order issued by the court, the officer will make an arrest without a warrant. Violation of a no-contact order is a gross misdemeanor, and the violator faces a maximum of 364 days in jail and $5000 fine. These types of cases require a carefully tailored defense that is unique to each individual case. If you have been charged or accused of violating a no-contact order, contact us immediately. We can help.
Theft charges require a thorough investigation and strategic defense. Theft is wrongfully obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over the property or services of another, or the value thereof, with the intent to deprive him or her of such property or services. RCW 9A.56.020(1)(a).
The degree of a theft charge depends on the value of the goods allegedly stolen. If the value of goods in question is more than $750, the charge will be filed as a felony.
Theft charges can also present consequences beyond the criminal justice system. A theft charge can negatively affect employment and also result in unfavorable immigration consequences. With the right defense, a misdemeanor theft charge can often be resolved without a conviction.
Malicious Mischief charges arise when a person “knowingly and maliciously causes physical damage to the property of another” RCW 9A.48.090(b). The degree of malicious mischief depends on the value of the property in question. If the value of goods is more than $750, the charge will be filed as a felony.
With the right defense, a malicious mischief charge can often be resolved without a conviction.
People tend to think that if they go to court and explain to the judge what happened, and why the ticketing officer is wrong, then everything will work out. But it won’t, because the court doesn’t care about the why. An experienced attorney will thoroughly evaluate a ticket for procedural, legal, and technical issues to keep a ticket off a driver’s record.
PLEASE NOTE: Drivers must respond with one of the following options within 15 days from the date of citation, or any moving violations will be reported to the Department of Licensing (DOL), and the DOL will suspend the driver’s license.
- Pay the ticket. This option may seem best, but depending on the type of ticket you received, the infraction may go on your driving record. We don’t recommend you pay the ticket without contacting us first.
- Ask for a mitigation hearing.At this hearing, you can explain the circumstances behind your traffic infraction. Mitigation means that you admit the infraction occurred. Even if the judge lowers your penalty, your ticket may affect your driving record.
- Request a contested hearing. You might ask for this type of hearing to challenge everything about your ticket. By fighting an infraction on legal, procedural, and technical issues, often the ticket will not affect a driver’s record. If your ticket is a moving violation, we recommend that you select the contested hearing option every time.
Contact us right away, and we can discuss what options you have.